Thank you to everyone who has responded so far to our survey about the Yate Minor Injuries Unit closing when it gets too busy.
It was very clear from your experiences how frustrating and worrying it is to find the service closed when you are in distress. In some cases people had travelled from Thornbury or even further away, only to find they had to drive miles in the other direction to Southmead instead.
There is also confusion about which is the right service to use for different problems. One person described the NHS A and E coverage as "poor, inadequate, and confusing". Some did not realise the MIU cannot deal with illnesses. Only one mentioned having used their GP Minor Injury Service as an alternative.
On Wednesday Claire used your responses when she questioned local health chiefs on the closures at the South Gloucestershire CCG AGM. They said that if people were travelling a long way they should ring to check first - though one person in our survey had done just this and got no response. When they got to the MIU it was closed, even though it should have been open.
Health chiefs also said that all GPs are now offering a Minor Injury Service during their opening hours and that this is advertised in the surgeries, in surgery newsletters and on their websites. Claire pointed out that if you're not a regular user of your surgery you won't see these notices. You have to ring your surgery to book an appointment.
The CCG are promoting their Right Care First Time page. This has links to find out where your nearest GP, Minor Injury Unit, pharmacy and other services are but does not have clear advice on which service to use when. If you're not sure ring 111.
We think the NHS needs to start thinking about it from a patient's point of view.
If you have an experience to share, please do complete our survey - it will only take a few minutes.